thehindu/TODAY’S PAPER »KALPETTA, June 18

Laying out a jackfruit feast in school

Jackfruit can fill a whole bakery. The versatile fruit lends itself to culinary experiments, going into halwa, puffs, cutlets, cakes, jam, squash, idlis, jelly, toffee, fruit bars, pappad and pickles.

It was a rare experience to the students of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya at Lakkidi in Wayanad, as they learnt to prepare 28 dishes from the fruit with the scent of soil.

The programme was hosted by the school on Sunday, in association with the Ruchi Farmers’ Network, a farmers’ collective to promote the low-profile jackfruit, and Uravu Bamboo Village, an indigenous science and technology study centre at Thrikkaipetta.

The students made traditional preparations such as payasam and chips and innovative ones. They had collected close to 150 jackfruits from various coffee estates near the school. As many as 400 students and teachers shared in the cooking work, along with the experts of Ruchi.

Humble fruit

“Though my mother make ‘chakka pradaman’ and some other dishes with jackfruit at home, this is the first time I have learnt to prepare a variety of dishes with the humble fruit,” A. Nimisha, an 11th standard student of the school, said. “We have also learnt that all parts of the fruit can be utilised to make delicious dishes.”

“The programme was aimed at sensitising the children to the commercial potential of jackfruit as we waste jackfruit worth Rs. 500 crore every year,” C.D. Suneesh of Ruchi said. This was the first campaign of the organisation on jackfruit in a school and it will continue.

The programme not only imparted a new lesson to the children that all parts of the fruit was useful but also opened a new food style to them, C.V. Santhi, Principal of the school, said. A sumptuous feast was served to the parents, teachers and students at the end of the programme.

thehindu/news/KOLLAM, May 13, 2012

Joining hands to promote the jackfruit

A jackfruit value addition training programme in progress at Karunagapally in Kollam district.. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Prickly on the outside, when cut open, the ripe jackfruit sends out a mouth watering aroma that can invite anyone to relish it. The closely packed delicious golden bulbs are not only tasty but storehouses of vitamins, dietary fibre, minerals, antioxidants, anti-ageing substances and even anti-cancer.

Yet this fruit which is believed to have originated in the forests of Kerala is today largely discarded by its native people. Each year huge quantities of jackfruit are produced in the State. But good quantities of these are left to ripe and rot on the trees itself. A small quantity is exported to neighbouring States where those people have started to relish the fruit and tap its health properties.

One of the reasons for the Kerala apathy to this fruit is that now no one wants to devote time to cut the fruit and pluck out the bulbs which is a tedious and messy job. In other States where it is gaining popularity as a good fruit, the hard work of extracting the bulbs is done by the fruit vendors. In Kerala neither whole jackfruits nor the extracted bulbs are seen at any fruit stalls.

Fully sensing that the apathy towards this fruit is growing in Kerala, a group of people have joined hands to promote the jackfruit and enable it revive its past glory as a staple food of the State. These are people who understand that if the apathy is let to grow any further, the jackfruit tree can in the future turn into a high endangered species and even go extinct in the State.

Already there are many who have started considering the jackfruit tree as a nuisance in the compound and more inclined to tap the commercial value of its timber. Of late several trees had been felled for timber and this is causing concern, said C.D. Suneesh, secretary of Ruchi Farmers Network, a Wayanad based organisation devoted to promoting jackfruit consumption.

He said though it used to be an important local food, the jackfruit has not been included in the food security programme of the State. In fact the jackfruit may be the only true organic food available today in the State says Mr. Suneesh. This fruit from its tender stage, to the seasoned raw stage and ripe stage is food.

The ripe fruit has tremendous scope for value addition but is hardly taken up. Though here and there some value added products of the fruit could be seen at melas, these are not commercialised so as to enter the markets as a food product. Mr. Suneesh has taken up the idea of a Jackfruit Promotion Council with the State Planning Board and says that the response is positive.

Noted water journalist Shree Padre who is strongly promoting the jackfruit in Karnataka says that the fruit has “mega appeal”. Sri Lanka, he said, has converted the fruit into a staple food. The tender fruits called polos there (idichakka in Kerala) is a popular food item in that country. Sri Lanka also has quite a number of jackfruit value added products available at supermarkets.

Mr. Padre said that a Sri Lankan horticulture officer once told him that “Sri Lanka will never starve since we have about 50,000 hectares of jackfruit cultivation scattered everywhere in the country”. The trees in different parts of the country bear fruit at different periods of the year and so there is always jackfruit available in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Suneesh said that in Kerala too the tree bears fruit in different regions at different times and so the fruit is available in the State all through the year. After a recent jackfruit oriented visit to Sri Lanka, Mr. Suneesh said that there about fourteen institutes in Sri Lanka providing training on jackfruit value addition. He said that country even exports about twenty value added jackfruit products mainly to Australia, Canada and Germany.

“Sri Lankan institutes are also only too willing to impart their value addition skills to Kerala”, said Mr. Suneesh. Earlier this month Mr. Suneesh with Mr. Padre and farm journalist Balachandra Hegde were at Karunagapally near here to provide training in jackfruit value addition at a programme organised by the Kerala Rural Development Agency.

Mr. Suneesh said that the programme had gone a long way in reviving the past glory of the jackfruit. All jackfruit promotion programmes organised in the State are getting good response. It means that people have not forgotten the fruit. He said that more such programmes could ensure that the jackfruit makes a return as a staple food of the State once more.

mathrubhumi/wayanad news

നവോദയയില്‍ ചക്ക മഹോത്സവം നടത്തി

ലക്കിടി: ജവഹര്‍ നവോദയ വിദ്യാലയത്തില്‍ സംഘടിപ്പിച്ച ചക്കമഹോത്സവത്തില്‍ 28 തരം ചക്കവിഭവങ്ങളൊരുക്കി. കൂഴ, വരിക്ക, തേന്‍വരിക്ക എന്നീ ചക്കയിനങ്ങളാണ് കൊതിയൂറും വിഭവങ്ങളായത്.

തൃക്കൈപ്പറ്റ ഉറവിനു കീഴിലുള്ള രുചി കര്‍ഷക കൂട്ടായ്മയിലെ സി.ഡി. സുനീഷ്, അനില്‍, കെ.ജി. ബാലന്‍ എന്നിവരുടെ സഹായത്തോടെ വിദ്യാര്‍ഥികളും ജീവനക്കാരും ചേര്‍ന്നാണ് ചക്കവിഭവങ്ങളൊരുക്കിയത്. സാമ്പാര്‍, അവിയല്‍, കട്‌ലറ്റ്, ചോക്കലേറ്റ്, പായസം എന്നിവ തയ്യാറാക്കി. ചക്കയുടെ കുരു, മടല്‍, മുള്ള്, ചവിണി തുടങ്ങി എല്ലാ ഭാഗങ്ങളും ഉപയോഗപ്പെടുത്തിയാണ് വിഭവങ്ങളൊരുക്കിയത്. ചക്കകൊണ്ടുള്ള വിഭവങ്ങള്‍ പല വിദ്യാര്‍ഥികള്‍ക്കും പുതിയ അനുഭവമായിരുന്നു. പ്രിന്‍സിപ്പല്‍ സി.വി. ശാന്തി പ്രഭാഷണം നടത്തി. വൈത്തിരി തളിമലയില്‍ നിന്നാണ് വിദ്യാര്‍ഥികള്‍ ചക്കകള്‍ ശേഖരിച്ചത്. ശ്രീലങ്കന്‍ ചക്കവിഭവങ്ങളുടെ പ്രദര്‍ശനവുമുണ്ടായി.

വിദ്യാര്‍ഥികളായ വിഷ്ണു, സൂരജ്, ഗോകുല്‍, നിര്‍മല്‍, ജിതിന്‍, ശരത്, ആന്‍മേരി, സാന്ദ്ര, നയന്‍താര, അശ്വതി, അധ്യാപകരായ ജി. മിനില്‍കുമാര്‍, ടി.സി.എം. സുരേഷ്, അസ്‌കറലി, പി. രവീന്ദ്രന്‍ എന്നിവര്‍ നേതൃത്വംനല്‍കി. സ്‌കൂളില്‍ പരമ്പരാഗത പ്ലാവിന്‍തൈകള്‍ നട്ടുപിടിപ്പിക്കാനും വയനാടിന്റെ വിവിധ ഭാഗങ്ങളില്‍ സൗജന്യമായി തൈകള്‍ വിതരണംചെയ്യാനും തീരുമാനിച്ചു.

Beltangady: State-level Fest Bears Sweet (Jack)Fruit

Beltangady: State-level Fest Bears Sweet (Jack)Fruit

Suvarna Brahmavar
Daijiworld Media Network – Beltangady (RD)

Beltangady, Jun 18: The two-day state-level jackfruit fest, organized to emphasize the market potential of the fruit concluded at Dharmasthala, Beltangady taluk on Monday June 18,

The fest was organized under the joint aegis of Agriculture Research Centre, Brahmavar and Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project, Dharmasthala and in association of Krushi Samaj, Mangalroe and Varanashi Research Foundation, Adyanadka, Dakshina Kannada district.

Jackfruit comes in a variety of sizes, tastes and delicacies. The jackfruit fest was first introduced in Karnataka with Uravu – 2007 and Kadamba – 2008, followed by similar fests in Sirsi, Thirtahalli, Nittoor, Bangalore, Mangalore and also in Kerala. Mega jackfruit fests are being held in Malnad regions every year.

The publicity has also helped to tap the market for jackfruit, with the demand for jackfruit products rising in recent years.

Jackfruit sustained the poor during severe scarcity of food in the past. There are a few veterans in our midst, who survived on jackfruit in tough times. However, now it’s a neglected fruit, many a time going waste.

Jackfruit tree is a massive tree that blooms during January – February and fruits ripen during May – June. It grows best in red soil in the coastal districts. The taste and size depend on the varieties of trees. One can identify the varieties on the basis of taste.

Jackfruit saplings have to be planted at a distance of 10 mt from each pit. The plant grows lush during summer if irrigated. Fencing can protect the plants from grazing cattle. The plants nurtured for five to six years grow into trees and yield in a few years. The planting of lemon trees, plantains, and other fruits or vegetables in between the spaces can earn substantial income. Nearly 100 plants can be planted on a hectare. The grafted plants begin to give fruit early. A tree can give two or three fruits initially while a tree which is 10 years old can give 20-30 fruits.

A Bangalore-based agriculture university has made an effort to include jackfruit farming commercially. Sri Padre, a crusader for jackfruit sustenance, says, “If the people who undervalue the benefits of jackfruit have to change their notions and convince themselves to achieve its market potentials.”

Times have changed with rising demands for jackfruits and its by-products. It is helping the women supplement their income by making ‘papadams’, chips, jams, and other products. Kadamba Marketing Co-operative Society, based in Uttar Kannada district, has created a record by buying 1.5 lac papadams and 600 kgs of chips in the last year.

The neighbouring state of Kerala is exporting jackfruit and its delicacies to Gulf countries. Its a safe food and also benefits small farmers. The graded powder of jackfruit seeds and other products also has export potential. Nearly 5,000 people sell jackfruit and other products in Sri Lanka besides packed products that are available in supermarkets, vegetable markets, and grocery shops.

Jackfruit has medical benefits too, since 100 gm of jackfruit has 303 mg of potassium that is known to lower high blood pressure in patients who suffer from it. Further research can unravel more health benefits. Its root and white substance of bark also has health benefits.

India ranks second in the world in jackfruit produce, but has not achieved any significant export potential so far. It’s essential that people have to be educated to grow jackfruit plants on their farms and the government had to introduce mechanization of various processes in retaining the purity and standardization of the process. Large scale farming is advisable with training and sustaining superior varieties of jackfruit trees.

(Inputs from M R Anand, Dr Dhananjay B, Dr M Hanumantappa, and Patil Ravindra S, scientists at Agriculture Research Centre, Brahmavar. Contact details: 0820-2563923, 9449866916).

4-day Wayanad Jack Fest,  2011 May 20th to 23rd

Uravu Bamboo village will host its sixth Jackfruit festival from 2011May 20th to 23rd at Kalpetta, Wayanad. Uravu was the first organization to start Jack Fests way back in 2006. Now the movement has spread to the whole Kerala state.

Venue of the fest isSKMJHigh school; Kalpetta. The festival will have Open Forum, Display and live demos of value added products of jack, competitions to school children etc. Theme of this year’s fest is ‘Food for all.’

In connection with popularizing Jackfruit, Uravu has been giving training for local women in Jackfruit product making including papad, jelly, fruit bar, varatty and a score of other tasty eatables. A good number of these women will bring their products for sale at the festival.

Wayanad is well connected by road fromMysoreandKozhikode.

For detailsjackfruitfestival@gmail.com

PP Daniel – 097443 00120

CD Suneesh – 096057 30334

First Jack Fest of 2011 at Kollam

Credit of organizing the first Jack Fest of 2011 goes to an educational institution, 60 kilometers away from Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram. The event will be held atSiddhartha Central School, Kollam on 15th and 16th of January.

The two-day Jack Fest will be part of the 3-day ‘Siddharha Science Fest’ organized by Siddhartha Senior Secondary School, Pallimon, Kollam.

On 15th, “Ruchi Karshaka Koottayma’ of Wayanad headed by Shri C.D.Suneesh will give on the spot demo cum training in making 20 different value added products from Jackfruit. Kudumbasree members and housewives would receive this training. Dr Prathapan, Mission Director, National Horticulture Mission will inaugurate the training g programme.

On 16th morning at 10 AM, there will be a seminar on Jackfruit development. Smt Rohini Varma, DDM, Nabard, Kollam would be the Guest of Honour. Shri Shree Padre, Editor, Adike Patrike from Karnataka would hold a PowerPoint presentation on ‘Problems and Opportunities for Jackfruit development.’

In the last two seasons, 25 Jack Fests and Fairs were held in Kerala and Karnataka. More and more people and organizations are coming forward to popularize the much neglected Jackfruit.

Contacts for Kollam Jack Fest :

Suresh Uthaman: 94460 12054;sooryavamsam@yahoo.co.in

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